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Hi, I'm new to this forum!

About 2 years ago, I purchased a turquoise parrotlet named Bubbles from a breeder who supposedly hand-fed her babies. Unfortunately, I do not believe the babies were hand fed. Regardless, I used clicker training to get Bubbles to eat millet from my hand, and occasionally he successfully stepped up onto my finger using the target. Then, due to certain life circumstances, I had to leave Bubbles' care in the hands of my sibling who did not use clicker training. Bubbles, however, would occasionally step up onto his finger using millet as a lure. After a few months, I am in a position where I am able to care for Bubbles again, and have become his primary caretaker.

However, I'm getting fairly desperate over the frustrating situation with my baby-ish (Almost 2 year old) parrotlet, which has led me to this forum!

Bubbles will eat millet from my fingers. However, he is now EXTREMELY territorial over his cage (which I know is typical of his breed), tweets incessantly whenever anyone comes near his cage (even when I am just sitting next to it for hours), and I have yet to reliably have him step up onto my finger. If my fingers approach the cage in any other manner other than holding millet (such as even opening the cage door), he attacks my fingers. I can very rarely get him off of his cage, making it extremely difficult to change his toys as often as I would like.

I would like to know if anyone has any suggestions on what my reaction should be when he attacks my fingers. I obviously have to pull away because he is biting with the intent to injure me. However, I am unsure if I should attempt to continue clicker training or walk away.

Any tips, tricks, or past experiences with such behavior is greatly appreciated!! Mainly, my goal is to get Bubbles to step up off his cage so I can place him somewhere else to interact with him. However, currently he does not stop being aggressive for me for long enough to even start a training session.

TL;DR: My almost 2 year old parrotlet who has never been very hand-tame is extremely territorial in/on his cage, which he will not leave. I would like to be able to work towards having him step up on my finger, however all efforts have been seeming futile. Any tips are GREATLY appreciated!!
 

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Welcome to the forum! WE are glad you wrote into our family of p'lett lovers ( and other pets).


Since we do not know the whole situation, I would like to ask you a few questions, if you don't mind.
Bubbles is 2. Are you sure he is a he? Send us a picture if you can. We want to see the top of his rump and the undersides of his wings. It does matter if you have a male or female. We had a person write us and she described her parrotlets. We asked for a pic, and she sent us a pic. The birds were not p'letts, they were lovebirds. :cool:

What foods do you feed him? Be specific. What brands, etc. do you ever feed him fresh veggies? How much? How do you offer the veggies?
What size cage does he have?
Do you give him 12 hours of darkened and quiet sleep? Do you cover his cage at night?
Describe the house setting to us. Is he able to be in the busiest place in the house?
Do you have any pets?
Do you have any children around Bubbles?
How noisy is it there? Loud bang bang type noises ever scare him?
What is your work schedule?
Where does the cage sit on? Is it lower than your head or higher?

We have to get an idea of how Bubbles is living. You are correct in saying that p'letts have a fear of fingers/hands and do not like you approaching the cage.
Your problem is solvable. But give us this info...it will help.


David and Bogie;):rolleyes:




 

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David has excellent questions. And he's a pro. :)

My parrotlet sounds similar. He will only take food from my hands very reluctantly. And if you stand near his cage or the red almond container in their room, he goes crazy. Non-stop cussing me out (well, I imagine that's what he's doing). We can put our hands in his cage to change food/water - but only if we are quick about it. We clean his cage when he's not in it.

And when he's on the almond container, we leave him alone. If we get him to step up (and he will) he follows that with a chomp. We know that he's very protective of anything red.

Kingston will never be a cuddler. It's just who he is. He's trained to fly back to his cage on command, which is successful 99.99% of the time.

He will step up, but on to a sleeve or covered hand (which is usually still my sleeve). If he's feeling affectionate, he will sit on me.

Answers to David's questions may help get some more ideas though.
 

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My suggestion is to use the millet to teach Bubbles to step up on a perch or a swing. When I was hand taming Milo, I taught him to step up onto a rope swing. Then I would carry him away from his cage on the swing. I would walk around the house with him and set his swing on the playstand. He learned very quickly that his swing meant play time. I only had to use millet a few times. I had no issues carrying him around the house and getting him back to his cage.

I would also suggest moving your hand a little closer every day on the millet, if you haven't already. Some more treats that helped Milo bond with me were sunflower seeds and Nutriberries. I would let him take the sunflower seeds from my fingers and then let him use the back of my hand as a tray. It took some time before he would use my hand as a tray though. For a while he would take the sunflower seed and run away. The Nutriberries were great for training. I would hold one between my index finger and thumb and just let him take bites out of it. It really helped build his confidence in my fingers being close to him and nothing bad happening.
 
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